Warning from health boss about "black henna" tattoos

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi
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Lancashire’s public health director is warning the public to be aware of the health dangers posed by temporary black henna tattoos.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi said: “People may see them being sold at shops and stalls when they’re abroad. There’s also a chance they may find black henna products online.”

He continued: “We’d always advise people not to get a black henna tattoo. Black henna is different to traditional henna, which is brown in colour and is a completely natural product.

A chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is used to create black henna and it’s so powerful and toxic that it’s illegal to use on your skin in this way.

Dr Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council's Director of Public Health, added: “It can lead to blisters, scars, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions and increase the likelihood of you becoming allergic to other dyes in the future, which is why you should never let anyone paint it on your skin.”

The British Skin Foundation ais also warning people to avoid putting themselves at risk with the temporary fashion accessory which has proved popular at overseas holiday destinations, festivals, funfairs and the seaside

PPD is permitted for use in hair dye, but its use for skin contact products is illegal in the UK and Europe.